passport not compatible with pc

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Pykey, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Pykey macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2009

    I have read a little about passport hardrive's being used for pc but then not formatted for mac's, my questions is the otherway around.

    I recently bought a wd passport 320g external hard drive. Unfortunately, when i connected the usb to my mates laptop, which runs on windows, it didn't register. The same happened when i connected it to my plasma tv.

    When i plug the harddrive into my mac, the time machine starts running which is fine, but how can I format it so it is compatible with pc's.

    Many thanks
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    If you use the Disk Utility program to reformat the drive to FAT32, then both OS X and Windows should be able to read/write to it.

    Doing so would erase all of your Time Machine backups though, and I don't think Time Machine can backup your Mac to a disk formatted in FAT32.
  3. Pykey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2009
    Really?? Can anyone corroborate whether i can use time machine on my passport hard drive once i format it to a fat format?

  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    If that does get corroborated, one option you always have is to partition the drive into multiple partitions and make one HFS+ for Time Machine and one FAT32 for use on multiple computers.
  5. dcubed20 macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Time Machine only works on HFS+. The above poster is right though, you can always keep a second partition of FAT around to transfer files to PC. If you have enough free space Disk Utility should be able to create it without screwing with any of your existing data.
  6. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    It definitely does not work with Fat32. Time Machine cannot be put onto a Fat32 drive nor can it back up Fat32 volumes. I have tried through multiple versions of Leopard, and it has never worked. I think it has to do with the journaling on HFS+ volumes. If you really need to, invest in a 8gb or so flash drive for about $20 and format it as Fat32, that way you can transfer files all you want.

Share This Page